The curious case of the horror remake

Separating the cash cows from the commendable efforts.

zz75a3d9a1Platinum Dunes’ upcoming remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street is edging closer, and in order to keep anticipation rising, the studio has released a new creepier poster (see right) and given everyone a sneak peak behind-the-scenes on this movie. Things are shaping up rather gruesomely indeed.

Most interestingly, though, are producer Brad Fuller’s comments on the remake craze, specifically within the horror genre. In answer to any deriders of this version of A Nightmare On Elm Street, and there will be many, he uses the likes of Universal monster movies as an example of recycled entertainment. For instance, back in the early days of cinema audiences would squeal in horror at The Mummy, and shudder in the shadows when faced with Dracula in his various guises. These creations and many more have arrived, made an impact on the genre, and cemented themselves as a sort of aristocracy within horror. Not many people moaned when Brendan Fraser and co had a wild time in Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy reboot, so why grumble at the likes of Freddy, Jason or Leatherface hitching a ride in a contemporary vehicle? They too deserve to enter the pantheons of genre excelsior. Just because they arrived in a time some deem to be recent, or unproven of worth, it doesn’t mean they haven’t served and shaped the genre.

Don’t get us wrong, Platinum Dunes is not – we repeat not – a torch-bearing studio, devoted to changing the scarred face of horror cinema. You only have to watch The Amityville Horror and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning to see that the company gets it wrong sometimes. But, certainly in the case of A Nightmare On Elm Street, I think people should see some ventures as actually being genuine celebrations of an icon, as opposed to a cash-in. Too many remakes/reboots have the finger pointed at them in this manner, and I get the feeling this is sometimes a cop-out on the part of the critics, web bloggers and movie enthusiasts as a collective. Just because the moneymen are always after a buck, it doesn’t mean that those creating new spins on older commodities are in it for the dollar too.

Then again, A Nightmare On Elm Street might suck, and Jackie Earle Haley could be shit as Freddy. If that’s the case I’ll eat my fedora. So for the time being, re-watch the trailer and keep reminding yourself that this could be a remake worth getting scared at all over again.

Vent  your thoughts on A Nightmare On Elm Street and horror remakes in general below.